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The Aldi Mens Performance Short Sleeved Cycling Jersey is a reasonable summer jersey with some decent features, but only as long as you don't put anything but the bare minimum in the rear pockets.
I'll deal with the pocket issue first because that might be a deal breaker for you. I have a little pack that I always stick in a pocket while riding. It contains a spare tube, tyre levers, multi-tool, and mini pump. It weighs 400g. With that lot and a mobile phone in the rear pockets, the back of this jersey stretched down too far for comfort, and it bounced around when I was riding out of the saddle. The fabrics are just too stretchy to hold it all in place.
If, on the other hand, you prefer to put that kind of stuff in a saddle pack and ride with next to nothing in your pockets, the stretchiness might not be an issue.
Perhaps it's a little unfair to start on a negative because this jersey actually boasts a few good features.
The main fabric is a polyester/elastane mix that wicks sweat reasonably well and dries out quite quickly. This material isn't a world beater when it comes to moisture management, but this is a 20 quid jersey we're talking about – you're not going to get the most sophisticated, high-tech fabrics here.
You can feel cool air getting in via mesh panels at the top of the sides, just underneath the arms, and at the top of the back. These work really well in warm and hot conditions. The mesh on the back is welded in place so there's no stitching to irritate you back there. That's certainly not something I'd expect to find on a jersey of this price. In fact, all of the seams are low profile and I'd be massively surprised if they bothered you.
The end of each sleeve features a laser cut band that's stretchy enough to accommodate various different arm sizes comfortably, and you get something similar around the waist. Silicone in the knit does a good job of keeping everything in place.
The cut is generous. I usually take a large, occasionally a medium, but the medium I had here felt big despite the size chart telling me it was the correct one. Be prepared to go down a size. If the cut was more snug on me, the fabric probably wouldn't have stretched as much at the back.
I'm a big fan of a full-length front zip and the YKK one you get here is good quality, the puller locking firmly in place wherever you position it. You get another YKK zip on a security pocket around the back, along with the three normal rear pockets.
It seems harsh to pick fault with a jersey costing £19.99 but that pocket thing means this one doesn't work for me. Sorry. If you like to ride with empty pockets, take a look because although you might find cheaper jerseys, there aren't many.
Reasonable if basic summer jersey but for the fact the back stretches low when you carry essentials in the pockets
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Aldi Mens Performance Short Sleeved Cycling Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aldi says, "Designed for men, this short-sleeved, high-performance cycling jersey is super comfortable and breathable. It features a moisture management system to keep you dry while you cycle, along with a selection of pockets, including 1 with a YKK zip - ideal for keeping your valuables safe."
I'd call it a general purpose cycling jersey for the summer.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Aldi lists these features:
* Reflective details for greater visibility
* PerEffect stand-up collar
* Laser-cut cuffs and hem
* Welded moisture zone mesh inserts to keep you dry
* 3 open pockets and 1 pocket with a YKK zip
It's well made with good seams throughout. My only issue is that the back stretches too low when the pockets are loaded.
It's quite a sporty cut although it might be baggy if you're a racing snake.
I found the fit to be generous to the point that the medium felt big and I take a large more often than not.
The main fabric is reasonably good at moisture management – but pay more and you'll get a higher level of performance. The seams are low profile and don't irritate.
Although the performance isn't the highest, the low price pushes the value up.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy. It just goes in the machine with the rest of your cycling stuff and it comes out fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does a decent job, especially considering the price.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
You can't really argue with the price, can you?
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The tendency for the back to stretch when you put anything substantial in the rear pockets.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not especially.
Would you consider buying the product? No, it's not for me.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe to someone who wants something basic and doesn't want to spend much money.
Use this box to explain your score
It's an okay jersey but for the fact that the back stretches so far down when you load up the pockets. If you always carry everything on the bike, that's not an issue, but everyone sticks stuff – phone, energy bar, and so on – in their pockets from time to time, don't they? For that reason, I can't give it more than a 6 despite the £20 price tag.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.